I'm currently disassembling my computer to take it to the new house, where there won't be Internet for a little while yet. I shouldn't be totally incommunicado for that time, because I can use the Greenbriar Collective's public Internet. Also, I'll be living at the house, so you can find me there.
I don't think we ever got a really strong affirmative on the Dark Party, which is scheduled to start tomorrow night (eek!). gizer
is sick, Mike is moving to the woods, there's Vegan Mac on Tuesday, where there will be a guy with some Zapatista crafts, and so all in all, I'm not really feeling it. If anybody is really looking forward to it, then I'm potentially in favor, but I don't feel like I need to spearhead it any more. I'm still all about the Solstice party on Wednesday, though.
We got two keys to the new locks last night, and moved some stuff in. Apparently, the landlady has four more keys, which she wants to engrave with "Eufaula" so that in the future, she won't have so much trouble figuring out which keys are for which house. That means we still need to make two more copies, and whoever wants to pay for those copies can get keys right now (key copies are like $1.25)!
Also, Richard (the maintenance guy) chopped down the Catalpa tree that was growing up through the cement by the back door. I'm sort of bummed, because it was a neat tree, and it would have shaded the roof (and kept the house cooler) in the summer. However, he also left us the wood, which is nice, since we have a fireplace.
We looked up the Yule Log tradition last week, just because we didn't know what it was really all about, while trying to get ideas for a solstice celebration. It turns out the tradition was to chop down the biggest tree you could find, and burn the trunk as one big log. People would actually have big old logs in their living room, with just the end burning in the fireplace. That's a little crazy, and since we didn't want to go around chopping the biggest trees around all willy-nilly, we sort of discarded that as an idea.
However, we now have, already cut down, the biggest tree in our yard (or at least close to). The trunk is sliced into manageable lengths, but it's still way too thick to burn normally. So, I say it makes a fine Yule Log. We can even keep those big thick pieces around for future years.
and I went by the house yesterday with a load of stuff. Richard (the maintenance guy) had put a new knob in the back door, so it will stay closed when locked, which we had asked for. Unfortunately, this means that our key no longer worked, and so we couldn't get in. Good thing we hadn't made many copies of that one yet, eh? We called Thekla, and hopefully we'll get some new keys soon.
We should figure out what to do about utilities. I guess if we want to switch over zacholl
's accounts, we'll need to wait until he's moving out of his current house, which seems to me to be too long. If we go ahead and get the shit hooked up, we presumably wouldn't actually have anything to pay until the first month's bills come in. Should we do it?
We were having some talking about what would constitute a good Solstice celebration the other day at the Greenbriar Collective. The idea was that we want more than just an excuse for a party like all the other parties; we want a real holiday that can be meaningful to us in the way that Christmas, as a Christian-turned-consumerist holiday, can't. Solstice is the day that the days stop getting shorter and start getting longer, so it is a holiday about the return of light. However, as the longest night of the year, it is also a holiday about the dark. So, here's the idea that we brainstormed:
The solstice (this year) is at 10:35 am CDT on December 21st. That means that the shortest day is the 21st, and the longest night is the 20th-21st. As the celebration of the longest night, we can extend the night, and make it even longer, by having a dark party. In the future, it might be cool to have a full-length dark party, but in this instance, due to logistics, it would be better to keep it short. Say approximately 36 hours, starting the evening of the 19th, and ending at daybreak on the 21st. Then, to celebrate the returning of the light, a more conventional dinner party (only, since it's for a holiday, we should call it a feast) on the evening of the 21st.
The Dark Party would be taking place downstairs only, so those who didn't want to participate would be free not to, and everyone who is in town at that time except zacholl
and I) would still have free access to their room.
This stuff is mostly directed to the folks who are actual members of the household, but others are welcome to throw in some opinions, especially on whether they would like to participate if said events do come to pass, and on ideas to make the feast lean more towards a meaningful holiday celebration rather than an excuse for a party.
We paid the first half-month rent on Monday, and I have a key to the back door (but not the front door; the landlady hadn't found it yet). We can move in whenever we want, and if anybody needs keys, (which I assume you all do) let me know how to get them to you.
We need to figure out how/when we're going to get all the utilities turned on.
Also, if we have stuff on by then, I think it would be cool to have a dinner party on or slightly before the solstice, which is the 21st. How does everybody feel about that?
So... I think we should have a show of hands for who is interested in community living starting this winter.
If you don't remember what's going on, please read the last entry on the community page.
We need more back-and-forth on this page, people. :-) No one will bite you if you comment or post.
The meeting that gizer
organized last Saturday didn't end up being much. She and I were there, as well as two other people whose names I can't recall, and John and Mike from the Greenbriar Collective. None of them seemed terribly interested in actually starting an intentional community, but they were interested enough to talk about it.
The chief conclusion that we came to is that we need to start smaller than that. Specifically, before jumping into buying property, we should get ourselves organized, and work out a system for living together. That is, work on the community as a group of people, rather than a specific place. So we should find a house and rent it, maybe starting in January, when tank182
is back in Norman. (This would also be an excellent opportunity for a Dark Party.)
We've also been talking a lot about the profit vs. non-profit issue, and it's our feeling now that "profit" is the way to go. In this sort of model, the co-op is a corporation, in which all members own stock. Each person would have to pay dues each month, which would be calculated to be enough to pay for all services that the co-op provides, such as housing, utilities, repairs, at least some food, and also operational expenses like bookkeeping. If people do things to help provide these services, their dues are credited respectively. So people who provide food get the value of the food deduct4ed, people who do administrative work get the value of the work deducted, people who provide repairs get the value of the repairs deducted, etc. In addition, everyone must buy at least one share of stock per month. For the sake of our discussion, we've been saying that a share initially costs $10. That money goes into the co-op's bank account, where it will accrue a bit of interest and can be used for projects which will not diminish its value. That is, once enough has accrued, we could use it for a down payment on a house. Or, before that, we could spend it as start-up costs for some sort of fund-raising. Ideally, what this means is that the price of a share is slowly going up, or at least not down. If the shares should gain value fast enough to reach $20, they would be subdivided, so that a share once again costs $10, but everyone who already owns shares now owns twice as many. This stops the monthly requirement from getting out of hand. When someone wants to leave, they sell all their shares back to the co-op (or to another member), and get all their money back. If someone else wants to join, they just start paying dues and buying shares.
We've also talked about built-in mechanisms to equalize the number of shares, because it's ideal for all members to have equal numbers of shares.
Who might be interested in getting started in January? What do all concerned parties think about the economic scheme?
If anyone who went to the meeting last Saturday would like to post about what happened and what was said at the meeting, everyone who was not at the meeting would appreciate it greatly.
There we will be a discussion forum for people interested in co-housing, co-operatives, communes, and intentional communities next Saturday, Sept 3 at 3pm at the Greenbriar Collective/Third Space Library located on the corner of Robinson and Findlay, just across from the Fair Grounds. Please park across the street in the Hospital parking lot and bring with you sandwich or salad ingredients to share.
I guess gizer
and I have stopped posting here all the time because we feel like we're just spinning our wheels, and not getting any other input from other people. Partly that has to do with a scanty Internet access for amargyle
, and aurora_thelbine
, and I think partly it's because others don't feel like they know as much as us about the whole situation. That doesn't mean that we don't need input. We don't want to do all the work here, and if we did, we wouldn't end up with something that reflected the desires of the group as a whole.
So I think that, before we proceed any more, we each need to write an honest, biased summary of what we would be looking for in this project, and how important various aspects are to them. I sort of tried to get that out of people at our face-to-face meeting, but we ended up with a lot of "everything everyone else said." I don't think we all have exactly the same goals, and I definitely think that we wouldn't all rank them the same.
So, you can write a simple list, or a meandering essay; I don't care. But please, everyone who is interested in being a part of this co-op / these co-ops, say why, say what you're looking for, say what you want to be rid of and what you can't live without, and give at least a rough indication of how important each item is. Don't limit yourself to what you think others will agree to, because you might be surprised. And
don't look at the comments until you've answered. It's good to be agreeable and look for compromise, but it's also necessary for everyone to understand what everyone else is looking for, so we can compromise effectively.
Ahem...Cooperative Agricultural Business GrantBalancing Environment and Technology Research and EducationBiodiversity ConservationEnvironmental Education GrantGeneral grant for exactly what we're doingBrown Field Restoration
(Brown fields are polluted industrial sites, a lot in Oklahoma, this exact grant used by the Rhizome Collective in Austin which turned a warehouse into a cooperative house and dug up the parking lot for a garden)General Education and Environment GrantGeneral Research GrantSustainable Living Grant
Look at the last one especially. All of these could apply to what we're talking about. Dude, huge non-profit projects have to have people running them, do you think they do it for free? We would be like live-in managers of a big Sustainability Research and Education Facility. Yes, we're looking for a place to live, but that's not how you look at it in order to get grants. In order to get grants you first look at the PROJECTS we will be doing there, and then worry about getting a location. I know, I'm looking at this from a big "This is my life goal and I'm making a career out of it" standpoint, but this is what I want to do and unless I want to go back to school, get Physics PHD, become a professor and work my ass off for a couple decades until I make enough money to buy my own land, this is the best way to do it. I think Withlyn can understand.
- Music:Kittie - Spit